Vilem Sokol, "a nationally esteemed maestro," headed the Seattle Youth Symphony for 28 years, and taught violin and viola at the University of Washington from 1948 until his retirement in 1985. Prior to serving as the conductor of the Youth Symphony, Sokol was principal violist and head of the viola section of the Seattle Symphony Orchestra.
Over the years at the Youth Symphony, Sokol worked with some 7,000 young musicians, many of whom have gone on to performance careers. These youngsters came from all corners of the State--from Wenatchee, Bellingham, Olympia, Aberdeen--to play in the Symphony under Sokol's baton. And his ability to learn the name of every player in an orchestra whose members changed every year became legendary.
Sokol received a bachelor's degree in music from Oberlin College in Ohio, and a master's degree in music at the State Conservatory of Music in Prague. He studied under a fellowship grant at the Juilliard School of Music in New York. He has performed widely and made numerous appearances on television and for community groups.